NYSEG withdraws extension objection

They changed their minds.

The New York State Gas & Electric Corporation filed a letter with the state Public Service Commission stating they are now willing to continue working with Cayuga Operating Company LLC on a plan to repower the Cayuga facility from coal to natural gas.

“As stated previously, NYSEG and Cayuga have worked diligently in an attempt to develop a mutually-agreeable revised proposal and NYSEG has remained willing to continue. In light of new developments and in the continued spirit of cooperation, NYSEG is hereby withdrawing its opposition to the extension request,” stated the letter dated Feb. 25 and signed by Jeffrey A. Rosenbloom, the director of NY Legal Services for NYSEG.

The matter is part of PSC Case 12-E-0577: Proceeding on Motion of the Commission to Examine Repowering Alternatives to Utility Transmission Reinforcements.

Cayuga and NYSEG were supposed to file a revised repowering proposal by Feb. 28, but Cayuga, through the law firm of Harris Beach, requested an extension to March 31. NYSEG had opposed the extension in a letter to the PSC dated Feb. 19.

“The parties have worked diligently and in good faith for over four months in an attempt to develop a mutually-agreeable revised proposal, but have not been able to identify such a proposal. NYSEG does not believe a fifth extension will result in a mutually-agreeable revised proposal. NYSEG intends to file its recommendation to the Commission on February 28, 2014 as is currently required,” stated Rosenbloom at that time.

A statement earlier Tuesday from William A. Wexler, Board Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Upstate New York Power Producers, Inc., the owners of the Cayuga plant, said they were committed to the repowering.

“We believe the conversion is in the best interest of the community and to the reliability of the regional electric grid. As the Cayuga Operating Company has said all along, repowering the plant preserves jobs, adds new jobs, stabilizes the tax base and utilizes a cleaner energy source,” Wexler stated. “To that end, the Cayuga Operating Company has filed an extension with the Public Service Commission to allow the company to continue developing a joint repowering proposal with NYSEG as ordered by the PSC. This extension is asking the PSC to grant our request so that we can continue to move forward and reach a successful solution. We respectfully disagree with NYSEG’s opposition to our proposed extension because this effort is too important to the region to walk away from. We have worked diligently and in good faith to move this process along, and we are committed to that goal going forward.”

The two companies will apparently continue working toward a repowering solution as the PSC directed.

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